My name was not Aki.

It was never Aki.

Not until I met him.

But by now, I've been Aki so long

That I can't remember what my real name was.

I was not a sad child in my old life.

Lonely, maybe, but not sad.

I had my parents and my brother

And clothes, and food

And a roof over my head.

I really had everything I could need.

And then I told them I was gay

And my world shattered into a million tiny pieces.

My mother tried

But she doesn't understand

Why her son would choose a lifestyle

That would bring our family such shame.

She would bring home daughters of friends

Explaining she'd only wanted to introduce us

Her eyes filling with hopeless tears

When I said I saw nothing.

My father was in shock.

He got angry with me easily.

He hit me once

Or twice

But as much as he might like to

He could not beat the sense into me.

My brother would not look at me.

His ghost brother

Who was no longer really there

Just the image of the brother

He once knew.

And then one day

He came into my room

With all the money he had to his name

And handed it to me

And told me to leave

And to be happy

Because I would not be happy here

Ever.

I promised to call

But I never did.

Who wants to hear from a ghost son

Who can't even remember his own name?

So I started drifting.

I made money when I could

Anyway I could

In ways that I may regret

Or not.

I haven't decided yet.

And that's how I met him.

He was handsome

And gentle

And kind

When he wanted to be.

He promised me the world for my word.

His experience for my body.

His security for my soul.

And like the fool I've always been

I agreed.

I believed in him

Because I had nothing else to believe in.

He could be cruel.

He would leave me alone

Locked in that house

For days at a time

And send others up in his place

To do whatever they wanted.

Batter me

And break me

And leave me for him

So he could tape the million tiny pieces

Back together again.

And I stayed

Because he loved me.

He liked me.

He needed me

Because I had no where else to go.

I was not scared anymore.

This was no worse then sleeping in alleys

And eating other people's trash.

Because I always knew what to expect from him:

Nothing.

And so I hardened my heart

And forgot my name

And waited for you

To come save me.