Jin buys me food, and always leaves it out for me. Not so much in the morning, though. But in the evening, I usually have a bento to eat.
Jin cares whether my secret is discovered. He goes to great lengths to keep it a secret and he talks to me about it all the time. Who noticed what and if they did or they didn’t, and he teaches me how to lower suspicions.
Jin works hard to pay for our rent and food, and school. He works two jobs, which must be definitely hard when you’re constantly drunk.
Jin loved my parents. That’s pretty clear from the rare instances when alcohol makes him sad and not mad, from what he says. “I wish you were here.” “I wish you weren’t dead.” “You’d know what to do…about your son.” “I don’t want to fail you, man, I wish you were here.”
Jin, even with all his bad attitude and grumpiness, gives me a lot of council. To exemplify:
Don’t blame teachers for my bad grades. People who judge us will always be harsh and biased, we either get through that or we don’t. Blaming others is an excuse that, realistically, doesn’t work or make any difference. What makes a difference is getting through it, and past it.
Hardships are wasted on those who don’t learn from them. When I fail a test, or I got bullied too much and got hurt, when something like that happens. He usually tells me to toughen up, and be glad. Some people go through life without anything bad happening to them, or trying to ignore and forget when it does, until something does that they can’t deal with. Then they freeze and their life as they know it is over. They can’t cope. I will.
Don’t talk about life. This is the one that upsets him the most, I’ve seen him go off the rails because someone was like “oh, you dunno how hard life can be, your parents are still together” or whatever. He really gets mad when people compare lives because they’re all different and people are different so they value and think of them differently. There’s always someone worse off, always someone better off, it should have no bearing on how we live and feel.
There are others but yeah.
Man, it felt good to write this. I have to admit it’s hard sometimes, he’s so mean and aggressive all of the time — he has hurt me even, always accidentally! It is, when you’re in trouble, that’s another thing I learned from him…I think about it a lot.
If you surrender yourself to something bad, thinking it’s only going to hurt you, but it doesn’t. What I also learned from Jin is that what hurts you? Hurts everyone around you. But at the end of the day, he’s not bent on hurting me, he doesn’t mean to, he’s just hurting himself and that sometimes…sometimes means collateral damage. On me.
But the source of it all is not hatred for me, it’s hatred for whatever happened in the past, and this huge regret that he just can’t handle. I notice it sometimes, when he thinks I’m getting the same way, he gets really violent.
He doesn’t want me to be like him, and that says a lot to me.
I really wish you weren’t a drunk. That you could find it in yourself to try and be happy together with me. But when all’s said and done, I’m still glad I have you, Jin.
These are journal entries from the protagonist of the comic book Aegis Omega. If you’re not familiar with the story, I invite you to change that and read up on it:
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