I love my son. There's never been any question about that. He's always been everything to me - my perfect child who could do no wrong.
Well, almost no wrong.
He is a growing boy with Saiyan blood running through his veins,
and anything that would most likely be considered 'rough play' for a normal
child would have mine tearing the house apart. Regardless, though, I think
I love him more than most kids get from both of their parents combined.
The only difference is that I have to. For him. To make up for what he
so desperately needs and never gets.
I looked out the kitchen window to see a familiar site. For the millionth time this week, my seven-year-old son is out on the lawn, knocking on the heavy steel door of the Gravity Simulator, trying to get the attention of the warrior inside. I stop whatever it was that I was doing to see what will happen next, as if I didn't already know.
A voice so thunderous came out from inside that metal space-can on my front lawn, I could easily hear it from inside the house. Hell, I could feel it from inside the house, nevermind what Trunks was taking from point-blank range.
"LEAVE ME ALONE, BRAT! I AM NOT GOING TO WASTE MY TIME TODAY TRAINING WITH SOME HALF-BREED CHILD WHO CAN'T FIGHT YET!"
But instead of the regular reaction of the boy shutting-up and taking a seat on the stairs, he actually talked back.
"Good for you, Trunks," I found myself whispering under my breath.
"No, Dad! I can fight now! I'm learning to be a warrior like you! Really!" His voice almost sounded like he was begging, but it never faltered. I knew it was taking every ounce of courage for Trunks to talk back to his father, but I guess everyone has their breaking point. Even the son of the mighty Saiyan Prince, though it took him his entire life to finally get it out. The sound of steam hissed as the room depressurized.
I somehow don't think Trunks really expected his plea to work.
Vegeta has been known to have bad days, or bad-er days, if that's what you would like to call them, but this one was a winner. I honestly didn't know what to expect by the reaction he had plastered across his face, looking as if he were trying to burn a hole right through our son, but I knew it wouldn't be good. "What, brat? Are you that thickheaded? I don't have time for this!"
Well, that wasn't that bad. From the looks of it, I thought he was really going to tear into him, forcing me to have to deal with a frightened little boy running into the house... again. I strained my hearing, for I knew the young voice about to come out would surely be weak and defeated.
For the second time that afternoon, the kid proved me wrong.
"But Dad, I'm strong now! I've learned alot and I want to show you! I can train with you now!" His fists tightened, his face trying to look angry. Like his father. "I can do alot now! Goten's mom showed me..."
Here we go.
"What?! Kakarott's wife? That woman has no business trying to train you. She's as stupid as her husband was."
"...But, I'm really strong now, Dad! Will you train me? Chi Chi and Goten think I'm really strong, too." Trunks' tough-kid act was already starting to fade. "I..."
His speech was cut short as Vegeta forcefully grabbed him by the arm and dragged him off his feet into the middle of the yard. When he got far enough away from the Gravity Simulator, he shoved him forward as he let go to give a decent amount of space between them.
"You think you have something to prove to me, brat? Well, let's see it?" he taunted. "Show me this 'power' you suddenly have."
I could see Trunks trying to swallow. So was I.
As I looked on to the scene taking place on the other side of the window, I realized that I was getting more nervous that I should have been. I mean, I've been preparing myself for that moment ever since Trunks was born, telling myself that it was only a matter of time before Vegeta would start training him - leaving behind my little, innocent boy who preferred to fight with action figures and imaginary friends instead of with real people with power I don't yet understand. Who has come home crying to me with - at worst - scraped knees and splinters, having left me now to look forward to black-eyes and broken bones. I guess I had known from the start that it would only be a matter of time before the Saiyan in him would finally come out.
I shuddered at the thought, as unavoidable as it was.
Before I had a chance to process my fears, Trunks was already in stance, small feet firmly planted to the ground, miniature muscles flexing under his oversized tee shirt. Vegeta didn't budge. Not even to humor him. Instead, he plainly stood with his arms crossed, brow knit into a sharp 'V', just like every other day of his life here on Earth, and I could tell Trunks was scared to pieces, if not for what he had to prove, but for the fact that his father was paying even the slightest bit of real interest in him.
He pushed off and aimed a punch right for Vegeta's face, but it was easily blocked. No contest on that one. He tried again, this time with a side kick to the hip. Vegeta actually let him hit that time, but didn't move in the slightest, practically mocking him by his lack of reaction, save a twitch on his face. It went on for a couple of minutes without any change, and I could see that Trunks was getting frustrated. I'm sure sparing, or whatever it was that he did with Chi Chi when I took him over her house to play with Goten, was a bit different now with the reigning Strongest Man on Earth. But I knew my son pretty well, and being taunted was not something he handled with grace yet. Not at all.
"C'mon, Dad!! I want to fight with you," he managed to plead through heavy breaths, his fists still balled up tight. "Dad?"
Vegeta suddenly grabbed a fist full of his son's hair and lifted him off the ground, letting his feet dangle as he tried to hold onto his wrist, struggling to break free. I don't think I ever saw panic on Trunks' face before that moment. Who knows what shade of white I turned?
"This is a waste of my time! You're a waste of my time! Get out of here and don't bother me until you have some kind of strength to show for yourself! GOT IT?" he barked, just inches away from his face. "Although, I don't expect much to come of you. Purple hair, blue eyes... I doubt there's even any Saiyan in you at all."
He tossed him like a rag doll onto the lawn in front of him, but Trunks caught himself on his hands before he fell with a thud. Without another word said, Vegeta turned his back on him and walked back into the Gravity Simulator, remarking to himself out loud before slamming the door behind him.
"...Even with me around, this version is still proving to be a waste."
I couldn't move.
I felt tears rolling down my cheeks, but I couldn't move.
I should have run out there. I should have stopped the whole thing before it even happened, but now I was looking at my young son through the window, his eyes glazing over, still sitting up on the grass where he was flung as his bottom lip started to tremble. I heard the machine kick back on, indicating that this particular father/son bonding session was over.
Small hands gripped through the grass, digging his fingers into the dirt. I prayed that he would again fool me with some unexpected strength out of nowhere - just get up and brush the dirt off his clothes and be fine - but it didn't happen that way.
Trunks dropped his head and started to cry. My son was crying! Never in his seven years had I ever seen, or even heard my son really cry. Not like when he was a cranky infant that wanted to be fed, or when he had knocked out all of his front teeth the time he and Goten thought they would teach themselves how to fly. No, this was different. I watched helplessly as he choked back the sobbing hiccups that shook his body, breaking his heart into a thousand pieces as he experienced first-hand his father's total indifference to him. How it seemed no matter what he did, nothing would ever be good enough.
I wanted so badly to run out to that damn machine, kick the door down, and beat my husband senseless for crushing my little boy's heart - For single-handedly causing the tears that spilled freely down his face. But before I could even take one step to the door, Trunks was already running into the house, crying his eyes out as he ran past me and up the stairs to his room. I didn't think twice before following him.
Once I reached the top of the stairs with my heart in my throat, I noticed his bedroom door was open, but a cautious glance inside revealed no Trunks. As I paused to catch my breath from running, I heard faint crying from the bathroom not a second before a loud crash. The voice increased in tremendous volume as I frantically made my way down the hall to my son. The door was unlocked, so I let myself in.
"Trunks? Honey? Are you okay?" I already knew he wasn't. I don't know why I had to ask that.
I opened the door fully, and noticed that the bathroom mirror above the sink was shattered by a small fist-sized crack through middle. I spun around and found my son sitting on the floor in the corner, knees hugged into his chest, bawling to the point of almost hysterics.
I crouched down to his level. "Trunks, it's okay sweetheart. E-Everything will be okay." More things I probably didn't need to say.
Trunks' entire body tightened and tensed around itself as he squeezed his eyes closed. The hurt he was experiencing was becoming my own, but I didn't know what else to do, watching helplessly as my son ripped his voice to shreds as he started to cry even harder. Deep, crushing pain that I could never understand like he did. His body was shaking wildly and I almost started to think that he was going to lose it, but into what? He was still just seven-year-old child.
But suddenly, I could feel something snap. His crying broke into a screaming rage, causing everything on the shelves to come crashing to the floor and the tiles underneath him to crack. His voice now sounded like he was in real pain instead of just being upset, as with every emptying of his lungs, he sharply inhaled deeply to cry out even more. Lavender hair started to stand up on end, streaking into an almost white blond right before my eyes as I fell back on my hands, terrified at what was happening to my son. I had never actually seen anyone transform into a Super Saiyan up close before, but I assumed that this was it!
He threw his arms out violently, crumbling through the wall and the tub beside him as the muscles under his skin visibly started to grow and define. My baby boy was physically in pain and I couldn't do anything about it! I wanted to hold him - calm him from what was happening, but I was scared. I was too scared to hold my own son - for what he might do to us, even if he couldn't control it.
He continued to lash out, destroying everything around him with the sheer force exerted from his body and I could start to feel the foundation of the house shaking under me. His frame was nearly buckling under the extreme stress.
And there I was, scared to death to get anywhere near him - watching his body rip apart as I begged Dende to help him, to stop what was happening to him. I couldn't watch and let this happen! He was uncontrollable and violent, but he was still my son... somewhere in there.
I crawled over to him on the floor and wrapped my arms around him as tight as I could, trying desperately to protect him, though mostly from himself. As I held the back of his head, I could feel the heat radiating through my clothes, almost burning my skin from the touch and making my hair static-up from the energy. I was never so scared in my life.
"I'm here, Trunks. Mommy's here," trying not to sound as terrified as he was. But as I held on to him with every bit of strength I had, I slowly started to feel his body drop out of it's transformation, leaving me nothing but a little, purple-haired boy sobbing quietly in my arms. Almost instantly, he was reduced to nothing but a trembling, frightened mass and it took me a moment before I realized I was no better off myself.
"Shhhh, it's okay. It's all over now," I tried to console him as I rest my head on his, gently rubbing his back.
"I-I.... I'm s-sorry, mom..." he cried softly. His words broke my heart. Here he was, apologizing to me when I was the one who couldn't help him. "I-I d-di- didn't..." he choked up, sniffing under his tears.
"No no, honey. It's not your fault. It's alright. Shhh, everything's alright now," I whispered. "I love you so much, Trunks. Everything's going to be okay." I wondered if I was trying to assure him or myself.
We sat in the bathroom for a while, crying and holding each other, knowing that things would be very different for now on. He was no longer my little helpless son, who I could take care of and baby - who looked to me for protection from everything that he didn't know could hurt him in the world.
No, that little boy was gone now.
I smoothed over his silken hair, remembering the thought of what he will look like in just a couple of years, hoping that this time he will have a better life - another me that will do anything to save him from having to become that sad young man who had to grow up too fast because of his awesome responsibility. I wanted to hold him in my arms forever and tell him that everything was going to be better this time. But only this time around, he has the pain of a broken heart for another reason - a reason his other never had the experience to be denied.
My son knows his father this time... but now I think it might be harder this way.
From the looks of my bathroom, it probably is. ~