“Mr. Tsai, will you forgive them? When they’d done wrong, they were still, so very young.”
The big boy, L, who’d voiced this question, is closed to 6’3, he was once the star pitcher of the professional baseball league, he’d thrown a ton of games which led his home team to victory, he’s one of the best defense pitchers in all of Taiwanese baseball history.
But, we’re talking about key points, not how well he’d done, two genius pitchers, one of them, a high school older schoolmate by a year, C, C had once received record-making wage when he’d signed with the Japanese professional baseball teams, and had struck the batters out for twenty-eight games consecutively, became the keeper of the record for “Japanese Pro Baseball Players’ striker”. Another was T, “He’s a natural born pitcher, a star among stars.” L described him using a worshipping tone of voice, T was also the very first pitcher that went on to the American Major Leagues.
And still, both C and T got involved in gambling, and, at the height of their careers, they were banned from the games, for life.
“On one end of the table was a gun, the other, your wages for an entire year, and, there was a beautiful woman, scented in perfume, leaning onto you. When the world used the most enticing things to seduce you, and, all you needed, was to trade it in for a game, no matter how strong your soul, you will take the bait, right? Mr. Tsai, they were so very young then, will you forgive them?”, L’s heart went out to them, and, my heart started wrenching.
I too, have a ton of regrets, regretting those brand new shiny stars all around me, because they couldn’t defend themselves against the gravities of those black holes, they’d gotten, sucked in, one by one, and, lost their chances to shine through.
For instance, B, who works for the custom’s offices, and M, who works for the police department, their departments had been taking bribes for long periods of time, if they entered into this “tradition”, they can get an extra fifteen days’ worth of salaries per month, and if they don’t, they will be transferred out. And so, they’d become, “assimilated” and “gotten used to it”, until something went bust, then, they’d not only lost their public posts, along with their good reputations, and they also have that stain on their originally perfect records. Back then, they’re not yet thirty, they were all once, my good students.
Temptations come in all shapes and sizes, but, they’re all just as enticing. For instance, what Freud worshipped as God, sex drives, and the desire for revenge from Hamlet. On that hot summer’s day, my close friend, “Rock”, before them, because his soul wasn’t heavy enough, he’d gotten, pulled in, and, he’d served, behind bars, for eight years for it.
“I can’t believe that I actually got out of there alive. This lesson was, way too expensive!”, as the class reunited, the past had, stuck in Rock’s throat, “I’d lost my right to an attorney, lost my marriage, missed out on my own son’s coming of age, as I’d entered the prisons, he was still an elementary school kid who stayed close to his dad, and now, he’s a last year high school student. This class I’m teaching, you ALL must understand!”
Rock knew, we’re all, fighting off temptations our whole life.
“Professor Tsai, will you forgive them?”
That day, I’d answered L, that I would, but, the rest of the world never will. No matter how well they’d performed on the fields, so long as they didn’t keep the defenses of their souls up, in the end, they will, pay for their own lost battles.
L had once played for the team that’s most involved in sports gambling, but, unlike C and T, he’d not given his soul easily, he was still the pitcher with the lowest “rate of defense”, and so, the beautiful woman next to him, after waiting for him for ten years, decided, to marry him; and, the manager, my student, Renee, was moved by his simplistic and pure soul, after L worked hard, to defeat Korea, struck out ten batters, and, in exchange, for the sport injuries that’d caused him to lose his professional playing career, he’d decided, to keep watch over him for life too.
In a blink of an eye, youth passed by, with a bit of temptation, life became smokes. And so, I’d treated, C, T, and Rock as the mentors of my life. I know, that every day, every moment, of this life, I will be, tested by temptation, but, I must take after L, to put my defenses up, and so, in the days that come later on, I will get to, advance.
This, is the understanding of life a person learned from watching someone else’s life unfold, and, in interacting with the varied individuals, the writer learned who he wanted to be more, and who’s a bad role model whose steps he shouldn’t follow, a good way to learn from someone else’s mistakes here…