Andy could not step on the black tiles, he had chosen so. His mother didn't understand what was happening to him; during the last weeks her boy, who in the past had been a constant source of worry for his physical and emotional fragility, had adopted strange habits, a spartan self-discipline apparently as cruel as senseless. The day was January the 12th, his birthday. It would have been a good excuse to miss the private lesson, but Andy hadn't even thought about it. His lack of skill in math was giving him a bad time at school, so every monday afternoon he went to his teacher's home. Pretty expensive for his mother. That evening he came back home almost two hours late, walked past the kitchen straight to his room, avoiding eye contact with anyone.

From the next day began the unusual behaviour. At morning he timed himself for 30 minutes under a cold shower, to the point that once out of it he found very difficult to breathe. His day was ruled by an enormous list of strange rules which seemed to grow longer every day: one of the latest ones was the prohibition to touch the black parts of the big chess floor in the living room. On the second day he jumped past the door as he was used to, and forgetting the new resolution he put his foot on the line between two squares. Then he simply went on his knees and calmly proceeded to bang his face against the tile, until he was satisfied of the blood coming out of his nose.

---January 12---

A brutal accident, today, brought me to an important decision. I start this diary as a journal to remember this decision. I had sex with Maccaro, my teacher. I'm not a queer, even if at school everyone calls me that way. And i shouldn't have said i had sex, he just fucked me. He cried that he had enough of the way everyone in the classrom looked at him, of how we mocked him for his glass eye. He put it in my ass, and it looked like he could never bring this to a conclusion. I was crying inside myself “how much time does this take?”, and everytime i thought he was done, he was just taking a breath before he went back to his goal, raging with still more determination. I cannot tell mom i have my teacher's eye in the ass, i can't tell anybody. Starting from today i will make my life harder. A gradual process: i will build a soul of steel. I will come to the point where no pain will scare me, no suffering, no humiliation will make me beg for mercy in tears, like i begged when Maccaro moved his hairy old man's fingers between my buttocks.


-What are you doing? - Andy showed at the door of the living room without any sound, and now was staring at his mother bent on the floor with a sponge in her hand.

-It's all dirty, it looks like blood.
-It's my blood. Leave it there.
-But why? What happened?
-I said leave it there. And why did you put a cushion on my chair?
-Don't you like it? It's made of ostrich feathers, uncle Dan brought it from his shop...
-I want you not to change anything in my room.
-That wooden chair looks so uncomfortable. Wasn't the one you had before better?
-I said i want you not to change anything! I want you not to change anything in my room!

She felt like she had to do something, ask him something. But Anna didn't find the strenght to face her son, she didn't recognize him anymore. His blood was left on the floor. With some imagination, it looked like a little mouse.

---January, 17---

New rule for the shower. The faucet doesn't go all to right now, but all to left: hot water hurts much more than cold water. Today i screamed and ran out instinctively, but i already have an idea to avoid it next time. Furthermore, i can't use letter M in conversation, and each mistake will cost me a hole in the earlobe with the pin, without ice.

Anna was pervaded by a thrill every time she entered Andy's room. Actually she was going there less and less often, just few minutes so she could clean after he had already gone out. The number of the objects had decreased rapidly and now it was almost empty, so it didn't require much work. The only visible furniture were the wooden chair and the locker. Andy slept on the floor, and there was no sheet anywhere. While she was opening the window in order to let some fresh air in, she noticed that someone had glued pieces of broken glass on the chair.

-Mom! Have you seen in the shower?

The voice of Giulia sounded almost begging. While she dragged herself in slippers to the bathroom she tried to believe that maybe her daughter had just seen an insect or god knows what, after all she was only seven. She had not seen an insect. The shower box was surrounded on three sides by rectangles of wood fixed on the inside, and from the wood a number of nails extended for 10 cm, forming a regular pattern. That image gave her a feeling of panic. Somehow, it was completely wrong.

-Honey, your brother is going through a difficult period. Now put your shoes on and i will take you to school, or you'll be late. And don't tell anything to Andy, will you?

-Ok mom – quickly replied Giulia. Altough her age she was able to understand when something was going wrong, and she knew that in those cases talking too much didn't pay.


-I'm mr. Maccaro. I'm calling to inform you that today i won't be able to meet Andy for the lesson. It's all my fault, i had to cope with unforeseen problems. Of course, we'll start again next monday. Have a nice day.

He hanged the phone and turned back to the girl tied to the chair. Her whole face from hair to throat was shaking for the sighs, but strangely there wasn't a single tear to see.

-I understand Caterina. Now you see it as a cruelty act, but you should try to understand me too.

As an answer the rhythm of the sighs became more dense, almost continous.

-You still fail to see how lucky you are, having a man who loves you. I mean a man who really loves you. I am not one of those kids with whom you flirt at school, i would die for you. And in exchange for my complete devotion i ask you to be mine, only mine.

-I'm yours! I'm only yours i swear, but please let me go! If you love me please let me go now!

-Words are not true, they are easily forgotten. Words are an enemy to true love, Caterina, and what i feel for you is true love. I want to carve my initials on your chest, so you will never forget.

He lowered his eyes and followed the form of her body under the red shirt. In that moment he knew that he really could have died for her, that he really loved her.

-I know you have sex with Di Fraia. Two green eyes are better than a glass eye, aren't they? I don't care, i really don't. You don't have to suffer this way.

Caterina opened her mouth, terror was pushing her into playing every card. She wanted to say to that madman that Di Fraia was nothing to her, that she only loved him. She wanted to grapple to that last chance that was flying away fro her, faster after every senseless sentence muttered by the man. She tried to speak, but words didn't have enough force to make their way through the sighs. She saw that he was crying, without noise. She abandoned the last hope.

-Don't talk my dear, you don't have to explain anything. You will carry my mark, not that of Di Fraia. It doesn't matter how many times he fucks you. When you are in the bed togheter and he comes pushing his face on your tits he will have to look at my name, and he will know you are mine and nobody else's.

He made a pause and went to the thermostat controls, then he rolled the wheel to bring up the heating system. He drew out a swiss knife. -The first drop of sweat from the face that goes past the neckline. My father often said that a woman will lie, but her body can not. The first drop of sweat always falls on the more sinning teat, the teat that contains her woman-essence.

Listening to him Caterina felt like sweat was already starting to go slowly down her neck, then she thought is was just suggestion. She was surprised she was worrying about that matter. What did she care wheter he disfigured one side of her body or the other? Without understanding why, she caught herself hoping that at least the left would stay untouched. Then the bell ringed, and the teacher went to the door.

-What are you doing here? Didn't your mother tell you that today there was no lesson? I called her ten minutes ago.

-I was already out.

-Enter then, enter. I will introduce someone to you.

Andy came inside. He was so insensible to anything that he wasn't even surprised to find a crying girl tied to the chair.

-She is Caterina, the love of my life. Caterina, this is the boy who has my glass eye stuck in his ass. Now sit there, and keep quiet while i finish what i was doing.

He went near the girl again, quickly, with the blade out.

-Well, it's the left one, the evil one.

While he was about to stick the metal in her flesh, a kick on his knee from behind sent him flat on the ground. -What are you doing, fool? Should i tell your mother what do you do when you come here? Will she be happy to know her son is a queer?

He was still on the floor. Not for the pain, but because he could not believe that the loser really had kicked him. Thinking about it, he also found completely out of place the threat he had just made in such a situation. Andy pushed his boot on the face starting 5 cm higher than the nose. Then he repeated the same movement 23 times, without a shadow to change the look of his face.

Caterina could not feel shocked for that brutality. She could not even feel sorry. After all being tied by a man who plans to disfigure, for the ideal of love, the only valuable thing you have, greatly lower your sensibility. Beside that, she now felt she was safe. The sudden move of that slim guy did not surprise her: she was used to people losing their head for her at first sight. But when Andy raised his face she started feeling fear again. Her mind was waiting for a mask of rage or pain. It had even considered the possibility of a satisfied stare, happy for having saved her. In those dead eyes she saw the reflex of a folly deeper than the one that moved Maccaro, and a colder determination.

-Do you know what happens when you die?

She moved her head slightly.

-I don't know it either. But think of the possibility of a hell, or something like that. Could you imagine an eternity of pain?

Now he was right next to her, but didn't look like he was considering setting her free.

-A suffering of an unknown type... pains we can't even imagine. Don't you think it would be better to make ourselves ready? I've been working on it for a while.

She didn't move the head anymore. Any answer she could have given, so she thought, could have horrible implications. She desidered with all her force that at least fear would paralyze her mind, would make her unable to understand what was happening. But it didn't. And Andy had picked the swiss knife from the floor.

-Maybe now this son of a bitch is in one of those hells. I hope so. I think that once you are there you cannot change anymore. You cannot learn to endure torture if you didn't learn when you were alive.

Then he fell on his knee before her, to help her. He had really fallen in love at first sight.

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