Year 3: The air was heavy with the scent of jasmine and fried foods. There were brightly colored blocks in front of John, but he wasn’t playing with them. It was too quiet in the house. The man that was his father returned earlier in the week. He was a lump of a person with empty eyes and stained clothes. John didn’t like it when he touched his cheek with his callused hands and had flinched away from him the first time. That was the last time the man looked at him. There were things on the table where before there was nothing. Dishes that cluttered the sink. Trash that littered the floor. The only spark that remained in the man was found in the brilliance of his green eyes, a feature John had acquired before his first birthday. John was good at staying out of his way, watching from a safe distance. When his father cut himself on a rusty tool, it was three-year-old John that had brought the bandages. He held the towel with a pudgy, but determined hand as his father smiled at him.

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