Trigger Warning: Asset Violence
We met for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, in 2015.
She drew my attention right way.
Her swimming cap and goggles didn't let me see her face clearly.
But that smile, from ear to ear, gave away all of the emotions from a girl that was about to make history.
That was the last round of a long day of competition. She dived into the water and, to everyone's surprise, outdid the
That young girl’s talent conquered everyone who was watching, cheering or shouting. Cheers that suddenly made her name
echo throughout the entire arena.
And there she was: on the podium.
Amidst tears of joy and jumps of excitement, our story began.
I went back home with her.
As we got there, I was given a special place, next to the apartment’s front door.
Everyone who would pass through the door would see me.
And she didn't hesitate to show me off every time.
Family, friends, the air conditioning guy, a cleaning lady who eventually worked there… Everyone who came in that
apartment heard our story.
Over time, others like me came along, and soon that shelf was getting full.
Even so, I still felt as the most important one.
I was the first one to arrive and was always placed ahead the others.
I was the biggest, the most imposing and the most beautiful of all.
I was the one she was most proud of.
It was my story, our story, which had impacted her life the most.
It was on a cold winter night when he first arrived.
Unlike the others who had been in that apartment, he didn't seem to care about me being there.
He didn't bother to hear our story and didn’t even look at me.
On that day, I didn't see his face.
On the next 50 or 60 days after that, I didn’t either.
I found it weird that his presence became regular in that house.
Most people who passed by didn't come back.
Between swim practice, trips and competitions, there wasn't enough time left for dating.
But things were different with him.
The love story started faster than her swim speed.
It wasn't long before the shelf where I lived stopped getting filled.
The girl, who was never at home, began to spend her days lying on the couch, watching on TV the same competitions she
used to win.
On the other hand, he’d always arrive at the end of the day. And as soon as he placed the key on the knob, she would
turn off the TV.
My story, and the story of all others around me, stopped being told.
Not that there was anyone to listen.
He was never interested. And no one else but him would enter the house.
On a Saturday morning, before sunrise, she left the house. Alone.
She came back a few hours later, this time with him by her side.
Both were screaming louder than the crowd on that swim competition we first met.
He didn't want her to have competed.
She didn't want him to be angry.
He grabbed her by the arm, dropping on the floor the bag she was carrying.
I noticed another one like me inside of it, that didn't make it to the shelf in time.
A shelf that would soon cease to exist.
In just a few moments, all of the others were scattered on the floor.
He took me, and without hesitating, threw me at her with all his strength.
We both fell on the floor, side by side.
That was the first time I saw his face.
Taken by an anger that could overflow any pool.
That was the last time I saw her face.
Shedding enough tears to overflow any pool.
I can't tell if he ever came back to the apartment after that day.
We were put inside a box, and thrown at the back of the closet.
From then on, we were no longer a victory story.
But I was still the one trophy that had marked her life.
Sometimes, the only witness cannot speak for you.