Little cousin

My friend stops walking and points to a person sitting several feet away from us.
<<Is that him?>> she asks.
I sharpen my gaze … the person she’s pointing at is a young-looking boy who, judging by his hair, looks just like “him”, but his head is bent over a small tablet so I can’t see his face.
<<Perhaps.>> I answer at the end <<Let’s get closer.>>
After a few steps the boy puts the tablet back in his bag and raises his head, thus allowing me to recognize his face: yes, it’s him … Daniel.
<<I recognized him thanks to the photos.>> my friend says at this point <<Your cousin has a really great style.>>
Here we go again. “Great style” she says … but Dany is wearing only a very ordinary white t-shirt and two blue shoes, I wouldn’t really call that a “style”. But oh well, I just have to get used to it again.
Even though we grew up together, Daniel was born five years after me to the lucky side of my family, and it’s pretty obvious…he’s the only member of the family I know who is tall, with an enviable physique and a model face.
If I wanted to, I could get that physique too … but I will never have his face, just as I will never have his height.
Since he was a kid the people around us gave him nothing but compliments, although I have to admit that most of those were deserved. He seemed to know how to do everything: f he picked up a guitar he would start playing; if he picked up a knife he would start cooking … one day he had fixed the faucet in our house on his own, and he was only seven years old.
I’ve never seen his parents, Dad never talks about them, grandparents don’t either… so they’re probably dead. Still, Dany has several siblings, and he spent summers with them.
As strange as it sounds, I’ve never seen them either.
<<Daniel!>> I call him once close enough; he turns his head in my direction, then he stands up and makes a rather eloquent expression.
<<Finally!>> he says <<How long did it take you to park?>>
<<We couldn’t find you. We’ve been looking for you for half an hour.>> my friend replies.
He looks at her with a mixture of perplexity and disinterest <<And who are you?>>
<<A friend. He drove me here.>> I answer.
<<Oh … All right, let’s go.>> and having said that he sets off towards the exit of the station, with the two of us in tow.
As we continue walking, I glance at my friend, who was a bit dumbfounded by his behavior, and I make her understand that she doesn’t need to worry … Dany always behaves like this with me, ever since he was little.
At the age of five he had made up his mind that he had to become a soldier like the ones he saw in the movies; one day he said he wanted to go to a “military school” and then went around the house to “conquer new areas”; if I got into his zone he would punch and kick me, and even though I was literally twice his age at the time he would constantly bring me to tears.
Dad couldn’t keep him at bay and to defend himself he said that I was older than him and therefore I had to make myself respected even without his help, especially since he was always away from home and couldn’t spend much time with us; so I finally decided to stop crying and just start avoiding “his areas”.
When he noticed that I was ignoring him he started attacking me though, saying he was “invading” me: he would steal my toys, hid my pens and pencils saying that these were his spoils of war, and I soon understood that he would never stopped because it was clear that he was enjoying that game.
One day I asked him what I should do to get a break, and even though he initially refused to give it to me, after a while he came up with some conditions that, if respected, would calm him down.
First of all I should have given him my bed; we slept in a bunk bed, and I had the one upstairs…but apparently he wanted it for himself.
Secondly, I should have always kept the room tidy and clean; he hates dirt and mess, but he also hates cleaning things, so I should have done it for him.
And finally he told me that before he went to sleep and after he woke up he wanted a hand, foot and back massage.
Needless to say that I initially opposed it, the conditions seemed absurd and stupid and I tried to withdraw from them, but my move only made Dany stubborn: he wanted everything he asked from me, and the more I objected the more determined he became.
Eventually I gave up. I thought that after a few days everything would go back to normal and he would forget about our “peace agreement” … but I was wrong. Every time I tried to free myself from those obligations he returned to being violent, and after several weeks I realized that by then I could do nothing but adapt to the new situation.
It wasn’t so tiring to comply with his requests in the end … All I needed was to keep the room clean and give him two massages per day, nothing too complicated.
I had no idea what would happen next though.

The relationship I had with my cousin was really strange.
I don’t remember exactly the days when we were little, but there are some things and events that have remained well impressed in my mind.
For example, I remember well that after our first “war” he had started going to elementary school. In those days he did nothing but ask me to read books to him and to explain to him the things he still didn’t understand. Of course I didn’t really want to, but every time I refused Dany got pretty violent.
His violence was different from that of the other kid though. He didn’t whine or throw tantrums while screaming…he just warned me that he was going to hit me until I would agree to read to him all the books he wanted me to read, and if I ignored the warning…well, he would start hitting me.
His blows were very weak, they were the punches of a five or six year old kid after all, but I remember that he aimed at a single point of the body and that he hit it continuously, without pauses and with extreme precision … and if his punches at the beginning were very light and ignorable, after a while they started to hurt incredibly.
I was obviously stronger than him, with a push I could send him to the ground, but he would simply get up and go back to the attack, undaunted; holding him down was useless because Daniel never gave up, and I couldn’t lock him out of the room because after the first time I did it, that little monster stole the key and then made it disappear somewhere.
The real problem with his assaults was not that they were painful… but that he was tireless. I could contain it for a while, but then my strength would weaken and at that point I would be hitted until the pain would take over forcing me to surrender.
I even tried to tie it with blankets one day, but with poor results because they were too difficult to use in that sense … so I even went so far as to buy some ropes (the ones used for training), and I remember that one day I seriously used them for tie him like a salami … and it had worked initially! Dany had been completely neutralized that day, and I kept him tied up until dad returned, when I was then forced to free him.
He didn’t complain or cry to Dad, but the next day the ropes were gone, he made them disappear just like he made the room keys disappear.
In the end I simply decided to please him, it didn’t make sense to continue like this, I was tired … and so in those years my relationship had changed, and it was based on reading him the things he wanted (often children’s books and comics), giving him massages and constantly tidying up the room that he always left untidy.
As usual I adapted, and as usual I didn’t find that situation overly annoying … I had also started to like reading with him, especially since I had started reading him my favorite comics and books.
At the age of seven Dany started going out on his own though. This allowed me to have a little more peace of mind, but then I also started to miss his presence.
Suddenly I was alone. Dad was staying out late, and Dany had also started spending most of his time outside. At the time I was in middle school but I didn’t have many friends, so I had no one to spend my free time with apart from my cousin, and so one day I decided to ask him where he went every afternoon.
<<I train.>> was the answer.
<<Yes. I do calisthenics. And parkour.>>
<<There is a park. I go there.>>
<<Oh … and do you do these things all day long?>>
<<No. There are other guys there. They are funny. I’m with them.>>
<<Cool … Ehm, anyway, I found a cool comic, do you want me to read it to you?>>
I remember he thought for a moment before answering, but then he shook his head <<If you want to do something useful you can come in the park with me. I need someone that can wipe my sweat away.>> he said.
<<Uh …well thanks for the offer, but no. I don’t even know where this park is.>>
<<Well, there is something else you can do for me.>> I remember that Dany at that point brought me his shoes <<Since you have nothing to do, clean these. I hate when they are so dirty.>>
<<Yes. You. And while you’re at it, prepare my backpack for tomorrow too. If you behave well, you can read me that comic.>>
<<And if I behave badly?>>
<<I’ll beat you.>>
I remember feeling annoyance and frustration, and responding badly to him. He obviously reacted as usual and we fought, and as always happened I managed to hold him still and contain him until I lost all energy… at which point Dany filled my stomach with blows until I vomited.
Since that day our relationship has changed again; the daily cleaning of his shoes and the organization of his backpack have been added to the to-do list.
A few days after that event he kept his word though.
<<You have been a good boy>> he told me <<so go get that comic. You can read it to me.>>
I thought I hated that situation, yet I obeyed. The truth is, although I still didn’t understand it, I actually liked it. Every time Dany gave me an order I felt my genital organ move of its own accord, and a part of me told me that obeying would give me more satisfaction than rebelling.
Therefore I continued to obey, not knowing that one day all those event would eventually lead me in a state of total, absolute obedience towards him.

Want to read the rest of the story? Ask the continuation to this profile; he will give it to you.