It was a day like any other and Leandro was playing in his grandfather’s barber shop, alone. He knew he was not supposed to be there now, he was supposed to be in his bedroom doing his homework. But that was so boring and practicing his karate moves was a lot more interesting. When he was about to get the moves from the movie Karate Kid right for the first time, he heard voices approaching. He could notice it was his mother talking to his grandfather. In a panicky move, he hid in the big cabinet next to the chairs, that was always kept empty for no reason.
- I know you just want the best for us, but you have to trust I know what I’m doing. He is my son, after all. You have been of great help, dad, but you have no idea what I’ve been through with the boy before we moved in with you.
- Then tell me what you’ve been through!
- It’s too complicated.
He could hear the tingling of the shampoo bottles. Hopefully grandad won’t decide to use this cabinet for the first time today!
- You have to tell him where he is. I know I don’t know how it came to be, and you don’t need to tell me, but you have to tell him. He is your son, he deserves to know!
- It’s too dark for him to know. It would crush him. You know how he idealises the man even without knowing anything about him. I can’t crush his dreams of one day meeting him.
- But don’t you think it’s worse for him to have this illusion that’s not based in anything but his own imagination last forever?
They suddenly stopped talking. Was that sound mother crying? What could be so horrible that they did not want to tell Leandro? Who were they talking about?
- The thing is, dad, I don’t know where the bastard is. I never saw him again.
- Didn’t you live together?
- Ok, dad, here’s the truth. We never lived together. It was a rape.
There Marina started sobbing and Leandro could not understand why. What was this thing called rape? Why was mother so sad about it? And who the hell were they talking about?
- Oh my god, my daughter, I am so sorry! I shouldn’t have pushed you to say anything. I had no idea…
- Do you see now why I can never tell Leandro who his real dad is?
“His real dad”? Of course he should know! Why on earth would mother try to hide such a thing from him? And what was grandpa sorry for? Leandro couldn’t understand any of it, he could only feel the anger arising together with the sadness. He wanted to cry. He wanted to burst out of that cabinet and beg his mother to tell him, to give him the answer to the ultimate question: who was his father after all? But how could he? He was frozen. He didn’t understand why, but he understood that there was a terrible secret his mother was keeping from him, and now his grandfather was in on it. They were both hiding something. The two most important people in his life, keeping secrets from him. What a horrible day that suddenly become.
- I know it was a horrible thing, and you are so strong, my daughter, for going through this and coming out as such an amazing woman on the other side. But you still need to tell him. Not about the rape, of course, but tell him all the rest. He deserves to know. He can’t keep this monster on a pedestal forever.
A few minutes went by before Marina could say anything. But the answer to the ultimate question was at last revealed:
- Ok Dad, you’re right. I’ll tell him. Everything. Tonight. He’s been living a lie for 8 years, it’s time he knows. And it was about time you knew as well. So here it is.
Could this be it? Could this be the moment he found out the answer to the ultimate question?
- It was the man you trusted to take care of me while you were gone. It was godfather João. And after that night, I never saw him again. Now can we please go buy those groceries and leave this be for a day?
As he heard the footsteps moving away, his chock could not be greater. And now Leandro had a target for his mission: to find godfather João.