I wanted to enter MIT. Become IronMan. Just like Leonardo.
I had this really arrogant asshole friend. He was smarter, he learned faster, and he made sure everyone around knew he was the best.
I loved him, and hated him.
He was my best friend for years.
The thing is, I used to travel a lot, from place to place.
Every year it was a new school or an old school that I was returning to.
He ahmmm… he and I used to be friends one year, and apart another.
In a way we grew up together, even though all of that.
We discussed religion, end of the world catastrophes, martial arts that we wanted to learn.
He was my best friend.
When I started high school, I had forgotten about him almost completely, he stopped answering my emails and stuff, so I thought less of him by the day.
The first year in high school I was in a public school, but it was having a strike so I had to return to a regular private school. I was doing well, opening up again to others.
But things changed, we had to move again.
Second year of highschool, I come back to Rio de Janeiro. Start studying at the same school my cousin was at (my little sister).
I see him again.
He turned more of an asshole, because he got high grades and the school was very competitive.
I was behind my studies and he seemed to be always on top of things.
I admired him. His talents.
He used to say he would become Ironman. He was smart, and could get into MIT.
“MIT?” I wondered.
For a year I listened to him, and eventually something deep down inside demanded that I also applied to MIT and shove it in his face. Show him I could be the best.
Just for a change.
I didn’t get into MIT. Next year I got into UnB, the University of Brasília.
I was depressed.
Still am. But not nearly as much as 10% as I was before.
I lost all my friends again.
I lost him. Leonardo.
But every year I would go back during the holidays and chat with him and Pedro.
Until he disappeared.
He lived in a dangerous part of town in Rio. We couldn’t drive him home because drug dealers wouldn’t let us in past a certain street. We would get shot if we did.
I heard that he was still attending Chemistry in UFF there in Rio.
But then, I heard Pedro said that he called Leo’s house several times and his mother told Pedro that Leo was depressed, couldn’t get out of bed and basically just slept and ate all day.
Then, and only then, he disappeared.
I haven’t heard from him since.
We wanted to learn kung fu when we were kids.
He was smart.
You left too soon.