Holding Rivers.

Woman in the protests of Hong Kong.

….

“What? An idea? Ha ha, this is funny.

You can not eat an idea, do not be naive.

I am telling you this is nonsense, nobody will protest for something that is the law for decades now.

Just look out for your household and do not mind the government business, they know what to do.

We voted for them to govern, not for us to be responsible for it.

I have done my duty to vote, it is their job now; they have promised us, I remember it very well, I even have the newspapers with their speeches.

And… why do you read these books in the first place? You make people think you are weird. Your mother is worried.

At work today, a colleague said there is a rumor that they are going to start searching houses, he said.”

“Who? When did you hear that, dad? Today?”

”The police, I do not know when exactly they are going to do it, I can not tell anymore; they said not to have anything suspicious, it is just a search they make. You just hide the books, you hear me?”

”Why? No! Hide them, me? Never!”

”Do not talk back to me! Listen carefully to what I am saying: go hide the books and do not call your friends and talk about it; it is over, you hear me?

Just let it pass; everything will be fine again, you will see!”

…….. An unanswered midnight phone call after days . A worried father calls back to find the reason of this strange call.

”Hi , saw the call , in the morning, what happened?”

”They came…”

”Who came? It is noisy there, can not hear you well, where are you now?”

”I do not know, I almost lost my eye from a kick in the face. They beat everyone here, they know everything now, they found the books.

Tomorrow they will let us go, but we should not hit the streets again they say; it is forbidden they told us. It is madness here.”

”Oh my God, how can they do that to us! I told you to not play with the fire, they are very serious the last years. Ok, tell them what they want to hear to leave you alone, say the truth, tell them that we are a peaceful hard-working family, good citizens, they tend to like people like us, you will see… PLEASE tell them!

Maybe I can come there and tell them, I can confess whatever they want, if they promise to leave my son alone! … promise me you will tell them!”

Then the pause… only the sounds.

The click of a lighter. The deep inhale of smoke in virgin teen lungs. The silence.

”Dad…

stop now! ENOUGH!” The sound of a fist landing on a cheap wooden desk.

”They can not hold us down, we are thousands. No more safety, no peace. Safety makes me want to spill my guts. Quiet houses and hard-working families are being beaten harder by the police.

It is time, dad!”

“Son, these are just ideas, you will grow up and you will see.

What are these ideas, anyway, except from fucking words, just words… It’s not reality. Are you going to give your life away for words? Please!!! I am begging you, come back right now! Think of your mother’s health, think of us for once!”

“Think of you, dad, really?”

“Think of us boy, we are dying from worry here! “

”Always you and the ”boomer” bubble you are living in, right?

Tell me something and for once be sincere, if you ever looked the world outside of the comfort bubble you have made for us! We are dying in the comfort dad, the young, the free, the alive. The future is us, dad, the future is now. Come with me tomorrow, dad, and tell mom too, and tell uncle John too! This is us, dad, and not the fucking house and not the fucking car; this is US, the time is now. I will be waiting for you. At the university’s door there will be a friend, just say your name and he will let you in.

Come, dad, please and let’s walk side by side, let’s make history together or lets fall together.

They can not hold us for long, dad, they can not hold the rivers now…”

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