The Echoes of Memory and Heritage

The night was filled with many sounds and lights from the bustling city, which seemed almost to be muffled by the swirling nirvana of the night. It was sticky, hot, and almost seemed to be wet the humidity was so thick. It almost felt like a desperately scorching and insufferable summer instead of a typical winter in Thailand.

The elderly man stared out the arching window onto the blazing, cutting edge, but still culturally traditional, city of Bangkok. The artistic view of the city below always took his breath away; not only because of the towering height at which he studied it, but also because of the uncanny resemblance it had to Africa (no matter the many differences that begged to differ). The scorching heat, the captivating music of the stars, the street musicians, the distract market that relied so heavily on trade. It all dredged up the painful, long forgotten memories of singing tribes, cheering crowds, and secret letters. Thailand was magical in that way, having the ability to be another place in another time period, but still remain itself with its unique enchantments indigenous only to itself.

"Grampapa?" A soft, lilting voice quested for his attention. The man in question let his gaze fall onto the little creature that was seated so quietly and attentively at his cotton covered toes. The boy was a mirror image of his younger self at the age of seven, down to the blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes full of vivacious life and genuine curiosity. The only difference in appearance was the slight tilt of almond eyes and thick curls that framed a childish, gently rounded face. "Grampapa?" The young boy asked once more, reaching out a small hand that was firmly grasped in the elderly man's own wrinkled, livered hand. He smiled reassuringly down at his grandson, his sagging features creasing with the grin. His heart whelmed with pride as he realized the boy wanted him to continue with the bedtime story he had been telling only moments ago, before memories overtook him and he was lost to the rich, African past. But before he had a chance to resume his long, fanciful tale a loud knock on hard wood came from the entrance hallway. And like all young seven-year-olds that became distracted easily, the boy giggled brightly and stood before rushing to the door.

The aging man sat still as he heard the door opening and the squeal of laughter and delight from the young child. A soft, affectionate chuckling accompanied the child's enthusiasm as the duo drew closer to the spacious, Africanized living room. A man of dark blonde hair and green eyes approached the older man, dressed in sharp business attire. And with the little boy still clinging to the man's forearm, he leaned in and placed a welcomed kiss on withered and creased skin. "Hello, Dad." The old man smiled up at his son and patted his arm and the little fingers that were wrapped around it.

"Hello, Theron. I see you've come back earlier than expected. How's Kimiko? Is the baby fine?" Theron laughed as he hauled his son into his arms and fought the small boy from jumping down and attacking him again. "No, Dad, Kimiko is fine. She isn't due until January; you know that. And if anything were to have happened I would have called you, don't worry."

The little boy settled into his father's arms, resting his head against a broad shoulder. "Grampapa, told the stories." He gushed to Theron as his eyelids started to sag in exhaustion. He nodded his head against his father's shoulder, blonde curls hiding his face as he wrapped his tiny arms around Theron's neck. Theron patted and rubbed his son's back in comfort as the boy settled in to sleep in his father's safe embrace. Theron frowned and looked at his father's guilty expression. "Dad… I told you not to tell, Eriol, about all of those stories. They fill his head with ideas."

The old man huffed and looked away from Theron, already tired of the familiar argument that was pending. "Theron, the boy likes them. I'm not going to stop telling the bloody stories for the only reason that it puts ideas in the boy's head. Let the child dream, son, there isn't any harm in that, is there?" Theron glared at the old man, shooting daggers at him with his eyes through the window he could see him reflected in.

"I told you a million times, Dad, I don't want him becoming a 'boxer.' I want my son to have a respectable profession when he gets older, not some miscreant hobby that might put food in his body for a week, that is, if he's lucky." The elderly man glared dangerously at his son, deciding to not even grace the man's statements with an objection and said his goodbyes to the pair.

The age-old fight between him and his son had worn his nerves thin and if he were a little younger he might have had the energy to fight back against the accusations that his life passion was nothing but a typical miscreant's insulting hobby. But with the years his temper had cooled and his fighting spirit had withered away with his youth. It hurt though, that his son didn't understand the meaning behind the boxing. He had tried to explain once that it was the fire of independence that drove him to box, the true meaning behind who he was, and why he could never regret taking up the sport. But Theron refused to see what the power of one really was and he couldn't make the boy understand after so many years of not wanting to.

All that really mattered anymore was the sad ache in his chest that longed for a warm, sandy breeze and tribal song. He was an old man now with a son and grandchildren; he was tired. He had learned over the years that sometimes revenge could not be won with a simple fight, or an argument won with fancy toe work. He knew the argument would not serve to accomplish anyone's purpose and he did not feel it was that important a discussion to have anymore. He was old and he decided he didn't much care for leaving in a heated argument with his son. He had only one life to live, but maybe that was enough. He was resigned to what his fait would be, who his son was. And as such, his son would inevitably teach Eriol how and what he wanted, and if the gods permitted it, he could teach his grandchild his last and only legacy.